Sticks and Stone can break your bones…words can do more damage!

Which words do you relate to? What feedback are you giving? Have you experienced the wounds delivered in words? Have they created anxiety within at the office, in your business and as a parent?

Deepak Chopra says: “Telling a child what he is makes a much deeper impression than telling him what to do.  The mind-body system actually organises itself around such verbal experiences, and wounds delivered in words can create far more permanent effects than physical trauma, for literally we create ourselves out of words.”

As a new grandma of two beautiful boys, I decided to re-visit one of the great teacher’s of Human Development in NZ…Pennie Brownlee and her book “Dance with me in the Heart” …I have a history of learning which started in Playcentre with this creative lady.

Can anyone else remember dancing around the room in a workshop taken by Pennie?  Ripping up newspaper as I went and then down on my knees pretending to be as big loader grading all the paper up into the middle of the room so that it could be collectively put into the rubbish bin….OMG she taught me the value of play and my two children benefited greatly.

I didn’t miss many of her workshops back in Playcentre day,  I took what I learned back to Ohaupo Playcentre demonstrating to other Mums, having fun with the toddlers in my sessions showing them a new game which was in fact just another way of “cleaning up”!  What fun!

I have duly noted this for next Christmas – my two littles will be one year olds and I have an idea it will be fun with the unwrapping “mess” that Christmas gifts leaves a mess behind, and see if my children as parents remember.

Reading  “Dance with me in the Heart” I am grateful that both our new mother’s in the family have her  books.  I agree with Penny and know from furthering studies in human development  that “children don’t come with a self image; their self image grows from the way they are handled and spoken to“!  Babies are pure and divine in my world view…they come to us as a gift pure and it is our responsibility to create emotional intelligence , and individual personalities that are well resourced for independently living in the world we have created.

Names, labels and harsh criticism can hurt and stick when you’re a child; and so often adults claim this as just the way it has always been; they allow the labels and habits of speech and negative feedback claiming it as their individual way of being through into adulthood.

So in adult life it is important to remember that people have been conditioned.  To respect a person’s feelings by describing and acknowledging verbally what is happening for you , how you see the behavior is okay.  You have know way of really knowing what that adult was told as a child…perhaps it was “you’re a naughty boy” instead of “Your toys go in the box, pop them in please”. “you’re a good girl” instead of “thank you for picking up your toys”.

So whether it is an adult or child you’re talking to remember you can make a difference by respecting their feelings.  Keep it about specific actions and not about the person themselves.  It is about what the child or adult does, and positive enforcement of good behaviour brings about independant confident people.

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